Tom Quirk plays a lot of video games, but when he isn't, he is reading fantasy novels and watching way more television than is healthy.
Overwatch, Blizzard’s mega-successful multiplayer hero shooter, is finally getting cross-play 5 years after release. This will enable players on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC to play with each other via their Battle.net accounts. Everyone who logs into the game by the end of the year will receive a Golden Loot Box to celebrate.
“Cross-Play is coming to Overwatch soon, allowing players to group up and play together,” Blizzard advises on the official Overwatch website. “Powered by the latest global Battle.net update, players from around the world can team up, regardless of their preferred platform. With the release of cross-play, all players will need to make a Battle.net account and link their appropriate console accounts.”
Overwatch’s new Game Director Aaron Keller (replacing outgoing director Jeff Kaplan) advises in a video update that the feature is being implemented “soon”. Cross-play will not include cross-progression, so players will want to stay with their platform of choice for now. However, cross-progression support is being looked at for addition “in the future”. Competitive mode will also be restricted to console or PC; “for balance purposes, PC players and console players will not be mixed in the same pool for competitive matches.”
Notably, this update will include PS4 among its list of participating platforms for cross-play. Sony has continued to be somewhat uncooperative regarding this feature, with PS4 and PS5 not being supported in Borderlands 3’s upcoming cross-play update. No doubt Blizzard thought it a worthwhile investment to pay whatever fee Sony demanded to ensure that PS4 players are not locked out of this feature.
This is a pretty handy addition to allow friends across platforms to play together. Console players can disable cross-play if they want, however PC players cannot for some reason. We likely won’t have long to wait before Cross-Play is added to Overwatch.